creativity · Grandparenting · Humour · life · poetry

All I Need

All I need is a pair of pink boots,
the audacity to wear my hair
as if no one is looking,
the nonchalance to wear skirts
even on the days I plan to climb,
to adopt a no-limits, thumbs-up
attitude and smile triumphant
as if my world is a bubble
of contentment, needs met,
and no worries about
tomorrow – then I’d be
on top of the world.

aging · Family · Grandparenting · Humour · life · poetry

Parental Passage

Carefully we construct
security for offspring,
add luxuries to entertain,
accommodate growth
with additions, play host
to revolving-door friends.

And yet, we are graded
on performance – met
or unmet expectations –
help up against a stack
of other super parents –
silhouettes of perfection.

Still, we celebrate growing
aspirations, sprouting family,
ignore the slanders, and ease
into age with a tad of kook,
or wild inappropriateness –
all expressions of our love.

aging · Family · Grandparenting · poetry

A Torn Christmas

The wind blows,
a steady beat,
disperses Texas heat
palms succumb
to the rhythm
seduce the cerulean sky,
my heart a bird in flight

Back home winds cut
squalls threaten, snow
swirls nipping children’s
cheeks, while inside
hearths glow, eyes sparkle,
an anticipation my heart
aches to behold

This year, we’ve balked
tradition, chosen sunnier
vistas, the selfishness of two
will limit our Christmas
to FaceTime chats, snapshots
of excitement; my heart torn
between bliss and guilt.

(The Daily Post prompt:  torn.  Image and baking by my daughter.  Missing limb courtesy of a granddaughter.)

aging · Family · Grandparenting · life · poetry · women's issues

Mothers and Daughters

A child hides
tricks her mother
into believing she is lost;
This is not a game, Mother says,
panic still coursing through veins,
visions of abduction blinding reason.

Mother knows
what six-year-olds cannot:
that simple outings can turn –
unexpected loitering around corners,
the certainty of menace; she is wide-awake
cautious, protective of innocence in her charge.

Where was my mother,
she wonders, when I wandered away,
younger even than this one, when unattended
I roamed the neighbourhood, left to my own devices,
did she not know about danger, about shadows lurking,
and how did she not feel the tug of fear for a child’s loss?

Cannot remember
a time when she felt anything
but mature, responsible, forgot
she was a child, seldom felt alone
and yet was she too not vulnerable –
ponders the conditions of parental love

She’s a grandmother now
watches as another generation
of mother and daughter negotiate
the parameters of independence,
feels the same lurch of terror for
the precariousness of youth

eyes the preciousness
of childlike wonder with appreciation,
recognizes that one cannot bear responsiblity
for the endurance of such an elusive quality
that in all things, loss gives over to rebirth
and in the end, reverence settles back in.

(Photographer:  Sylvie Salewski)



culture · Grandparenting · life · poetry · women's issues


Tender as a fledgling, angelic
curls confrontational, she bears
emotions with courage, femininity
unkempt, pridefully engages
creatures – pests to most – believes

in messengers, blessed with manna,
heaven-sent; draws her strength
from within, a daring soul, plunges
deep, pursues wholeness – cherished
vulnerability, unpolished, loyal

mimics nature, her innocence persuasive,
fear and protectiveness retreat, helpless
in face of the adventures that call to her;
she is submerged, infiltrating enchantment,
unruly – does not measure progress by scars

unaware of wounding, responds only
to the magical sense of play – a limbo –
instinctively trusting, sweet, views the
world from perches treetop high, wills
herself to fly with dragonfly wings.

In time, innocence will be intercepted
by practicality: Fate’s swift hand cutting
her down, she will be victim, react to
adversity, learn to mother, the wildness
of her youth chiseled by expectations

She will learn to wade through swamps,
acknowledge pain and her own inadequacy,
overcome and face life anew, the memory
of a freer time, a more wily self, fleeting –
the child in her more myth than memory.

(Photo from Pinterest, attributed to:
Joanne Quirante Escober)

aging · creativity · Grandparenting · life · poetry

Colouring Lessons

Favourite colour?
Black, says she
without hesitation;

I falter, stumble
mind reaching –
who likes black?

Is that a colour?
It’s all colours,
she’s nonchalant

intent on task –
carefully keeping
within the lines

Of course it is,
ill equipped am I
to disagree, images

of dark somber
corners, sorrow
and death crows –

Why black? ask I –
composure forced –
had anticipated pink

equate childhood
with primary shades
splotches of yellow

and rainbow skies
candy red apples
on lollipop trees

but black? no –
black obliterates,
negates, destroys

It holds the colour
she explains;
It’s the outline.

Not annihilation –
order; her mind
conceives of order

so much to learn
from innocence
have long forgotten

the art of staying,
within lines, finding
good in all things.